Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Enneagram of Specific Delusions
Obscured Experience of Egoic Existence
All nine delusions make up the obscured or conditioned experience of egoic existence, and all need to be recognized and seen through if one is going to transcend that existence. One’s work on oneself must lead to accessing the realm of Being, for it is the alienation from Being that is the fundamental cause underlying egoic experience. While psychological processing is a necessary part of the work, no amount of psychological processing can release the soul from the ego fixation. Ultimately, Essence must emerge and transform the consciousness. For this reason, work on the Enneagrams of the egoic dimensions, like those of the Fixations and Passions, cannot be fully completed except by penetrating to the delusions underlying them, and these delusions cannot be penetrated except by direct experience of the Holy Ideas. Only this direct experience of the dimension of Being, and its integration in such a way as to illuminate the delusions as delusions instead of as incontrovertible truths, can fundamentally free the soul from its fixations.
Facets of Unity, pg. 17
Point 1 – Holy Perfection
The delusion of Point One, then, is the conviction that comparative judgments are ultimate and final. Things can, of course, be compared on the surface, but to believe that such comparisons reflect their fundamental nature is ego’s delusion. Comparative judgment on the relative level is useful sometimes, but when we are talking about the Holy Ideas, we are talking about a way of experiencing things that is transcendent to the relative level. So we’re not saying that because everything is perfect, you should eat food even if it is rotten. We’re also not saying that if you are sick, you shouldn’t go to a doctor. Obviously, if you want to be healthy, you take care of yourself, and there is comparative judgment involved in that. Holy Perfection does not negate this level of things, but when we talk about our beingness, our innate existence, we are discussing a level of reality beyond the particulars of whether our bodies are healthy or not, or even whether we are living or not. From this perspective, even the cancer that kills us is part of the perfection of all that is. Ultimately, as we have seen, even our death is simply part of our fundamental nature and part of all that exists, simply changing from one form into another.......... See also p 149. The conviction that there is something fundamentally wrong with you is not restricted to those whose ennea-type is Point One. All egos have it. Just as all children grow up with the conviction of Point Eight that they have done something wrong, so all children grow up feeling that something is inherently wrong with them. This is universal to the nature of ego, and we are all usually busy trying to find out what is wrong with us so that we can correct it.
As with any other point on the Enneagram, this conviction cannot be remedied by the experience of an essential state, because it is not due to the loss of an essential aspect or quality of Being, like love or joy. It is not a hole. When the Holy Idea of Perfection is not present, it does not matter which differentiated aspect of Being you are experiencing; the delusion that some things are perfect and others are not, and the feeling or conviction that you are inherently flawed, remains. It is a conviction in the soul determined by the delusion of comparison. It is a crystallized belief or idea about oneself that twists the soul in a particular way. Only understanding and embodying the Holy Idea will change this.
Facets of Unity, pg. 148
Point 2 – Holy Will, Holy Freedom
The specific delusion that arises due to the loss of Holy Will is the conviction that there are such things as separate entities who have their own wills—it is the delusion that there is a separate you who can have things go the way you want them to. We saw that the delusion associated with Holy Transparency is that you have a separate self, and here the delusion is that this separate self has a will and a choice separate from the rest of the universe. We are not saying that you don’t have free will, but that you don’t have a free will separate from the whole. You want your way instead of seeing that the universe has its way, manifesting through you. We have seen that the best approach is to surrender to the universe, thereby actualizing yourself. Then you become who you really are, because you are whatever the universe happens to be unfolding within your consciousness at any moment.......... See also p129. So there is a constant inner manipulation going on, expressing the delusion that you have a separate will and that you can have things your way, which is separating from Holy Will. You have lost your freedom, since true freedom means freedom from the content of what you are experiencing. Whether you are experiencing yourself as a separate entity, or as the Holy Truth, or as transparency, or as a frustrated mother, or as a stressed-out businessman, or whatever, that is what the universe is creating right now. It’s pure magic, so who are you to say to God, “I don’t like what I’m experiencing. Why don’t you change it?” To really surrender your will means to have basic trust in the universe, God, or reality, and so we see how the lack of basic trust creates the delusion of this ennea-type.
Facets of Unity, pg. 127
Point 3 – Holy Harmony, Holy Law, Holy Hope
The absence of the Holy Idea that we have been discussing leads to the specific delusion of ennea-type Three. It is the belief in a separate and independent doer. We have seen that the delusion of ennea-type Five is the belief in a separate existence, the delusion of ennea-type Two is the belief in a separate will and choice, and the delusion of ennea-type Four is the belief in a separate identity. Here, it is the belief in separate functioning. It is the conviction that one can act independently from the rest of the universe, operating as a separate functional unity. This is an obvious consequence of not perceiving Holy Law, not seeing that everything is the unified functioning of Being. So it is not only the delusion that things happen separately and in isolation in the universe, but specifically, that you are a separate and independent doer, that you can function and accomplish things on your own. In the absence of Holy Law, you perceive things as separate and functioning separately, and so you believe that events happen in isolation. You also see human beings as separate and functioning separately, which means that you believe that you are doing things on your own, independent of everyone and everything else. So the delusion here is not just that everything functions separately, but specifically, that you are an independent doer, that you, as a separate individual, are a source of action......... See also p278
Facets of Unity, pg. 270
Point 4 – Holy Origin
In other words, the specific delusion of Point Four is the conviction in the concept of separate identity—that your “I” is ultimately separate, independent, different, and unique. This is the element of the ego that has to do with the feeling of identity, the sense of self, as opposed to the demarcating boundaries that are the province of Point Five. It is the sense that your identity exists on its own, separately and independently from all other people and all other things. Ennea-type Fours, in fact, typically take great pride in having an original, unique, and independent self. Holy Origin tells us that this is a delusion, since our true identity is the Absolute itself, which is the center of everything. If you believe that you have an independent and separate source, then everyone must have their own Absolute, which, of course, is impossible.......... See also p197. So a characteristic of the delusion of Point Four is an obsession about originality and uniqueness, which will color even one’s understanding of the experience of self-realization—the Essential Self, the Point. In reality, the Point is a reflection of the Origin, the ultimate Source. So if you still have the delusion of the separate self, even experiencing the Point will not alter your conviction that you have a separate, independent, and ultimately abiding identity. It is as though you were out on a full-moon night holding a cup of water and staring at the moon’s reflection in your cup, and believing you have your own moon—everyone goes around believing they have a separate identity from everyone else. You will fall under the delusion that the Point indicates separateness from other identities, instead of seeing it as the expression of the Holy Truth—that it is, in fact, the transition from the mandala of one’s life to its ground and source, that it is what connects the soul to the Source of everything, what don Juan calls “silent knowledge.”
Facets of Unity, pg. 196
Point 5 – Holy Omniscience, Holy Transparency
The delusion here is not that you are an individual, but that you are an isolated individual, with boundaries that separate you from everything else. This delusion is at the heart of the Five ennea-type, and the exact key that unlocks it is Holy Omniscience and Holy Transparency. If you believe that you are a separate individual, your vision is clouded by subjectivity since you are holding yourself separate from God, which cannot be. There is only one existence, and that is God, the Holy Truth, objective reality, the living cosmos, the universe—whatever you want to call it—so holding on to the conviction that you are separate is like creating two universes, yours and the rest of the cosmos. Then you have a relationship with the rest of the universe, thereby creating the mental construct of this fundamental object relation. By “object relation,” here, we mean the construction in the mind of a concept of one’s self in relation to the concept of other or of the world. From the perspective of Holy Truth, we see that there are no discrete objects; from the perspective of Holy Omniscience we see that there is no separate self. So with these two perspectives we can see that both ends of any object relation—self and other—cease to be experienced as real.......... See also p99. So the experience of transparency is experiencing yourself as part of the totality, supported by it and not existing apart from it. You see that it is not possible for you to have an existence separate from the unity, and that in some sense the unity also wouldn’t exist without you. Not only do you experience yourself as inseparable from the unity, but you experience yourself as an extension of the unity. In the experience of Holy Transparency, you are a human being who is continuous with the unity and a particularization, an individualization, a personalization of that unity. So in a sense, you are experiencing yourself as a son or daughter of God. Here, the experience is that you not only come from the unity of God, but that you never leave it. Any feeling that you are not part of the unity of reality is a delusion, a mental hallucination. The protoplasm of the universe is continuous with your protoplasm; you have a cell membrane around you but you are part of one protoplasm, one life force.
Facets of Unity, pg. 102
Point 6 – Holy Strength, Holy Faith
Cynicism is a delusion; it is not intrinsic to our consciousness. It is the product of a particular ignorance, and the insight that will resolve it is the perception we call Holy Strength and Holy Faith. Many people adopt cynicism as a philosophy and base their approach to life on it; this becomes especially prevalent during periods of physical, social, or economic catastrophe. If you were born during a war, for example, it might be very easy for you to become cynical because your soul developed in an atmosphere of danger and was surrounded by people motivated predominantly by their survival instincts. A person who is really cynical has given up on humanness. Having faith means that you have not given up on the possibility of yourself and others having humanity......... See also p250. We have begun to explore the inner core of ennea-type Six, which is the reflection of the specific delusion of cynicism due to the absence of Holy Faith. In order to truly understand, and thus move beyond, identification with our ego structure and its perspective on reality, we need to see how this principle is crucial to the structure of ego operating in our consciousness. We say that the delusions are principles of the ego because they support the presence of ego. The more we see through the delusions, the more that sense of the ego dissolves. Without the delusions, the ego cannot maintain itself; the presence of the ego and the delusion are, in some sense, the same thing. As we allow ourselves to see through the specific reaction and the specific difficulty to the specific delusion implicit in them, the specific delusion becomes conscious and cannot be maintained. As the specific delusion dissolves, the state of Holy Strength arises, which is the recognition of your essential nature and the faith in it.
Facets of Unity, pg. 245
Point 7 – Holy Wisdom, Holy Work, Holy Plan
When the Idea of Holy Wisdom, which includes Holy Plan and Holy Work, is lost to consciousness, the deluded conviction that you can create your own time-orientation of the flow of your life—that is, that you can plan your life—arises. This implies that you can know what is supposed to happen next in order for you to unfold into your potential. This is different from the delusion of Point Two, which is the delusion of one’s own separate will; here, it is the belief that you know the direction in which that will needs to be applied. Specifically, it is the conviction that you can know what direction to take in terms of your inner experience; that you can program the unfoldment of your experience and can direct it in terms of a moment in time.......... See also p183. If you don’t understand the Holy Plan, you have to have your own plan. This is why this type is often called “Ego Plan.” If you don’t understand Holy Work, you think that you can know what to do and that you determine your work on yourself, instead of seeing that it is a spontaneous unfoldment. Understanding the principles of Holy Plan and Holy Work exposes the delusion of ennea-type Seven, which is one of the principles common to all ego structures. The moment you try to direct your inner process—“I should not feel that way, I should feel this way; I want to feel this instead of that”—you are acting on your belief that you know what you are supposed to experience in the next moment. All ego activity involves this principle.
Facets of Unity, pg. 180
Point 8 - Holy Truth
So in this study of the Enneagram of Holy Ideas, the first principle that we encounter which holds the ego together is the belief in duality. This is one of the subtlest and deepest principles, without which the ego could not exist and function in the way it does. It arises as a result of the loss of perception of Holy Truth. When a direct perception about reality is lost, which is to say that when one of the Holy Ideas is lost to our experience, what arises is not a particular state, but rather a distorted, erroneous, mistaken idea about reality, which we call a delusion. In other words, the loss of each Holy Idea leads to a specific delusion associated with that point on the Enneagram. So one of the fundamental properties of reality, as described by Holy Truth, is its nonduality. When the oneness of reality is not perceived, the delusion of duality arises. This delusion is the perception that the differences and separations between things that exist are ultimate, that this is the true state of affairs.......... See also p93. So the experience of duality is imbued with the loss of that holiness, beauty, and harmony, and therefore, has a negative tinge to it. This loss will be experienced as the sense that something is fundamentally wrong. The closest thing to this sense is the feeling of “original sin.” You know something terrible has happened, but you don’t know exactly what it is; you don’t know it is the loss of your natural state. The term Dzogchen in Tibetan literally means the natural state of the human individual, the condition where everything is completely the way it should be—and this is what you have lost. This results in a very deep state of something that we call “sin.” It feels like a disconnection, a loss, and a falling from grace; you no longer live in Holy Truth.
You sense that what is most true and precious has been lost and destroyed, and that someone or something is to blame. Through the filter of the delusion of duality, one thing becomes perceived as being in opposition to another, and one side is guilty. The loving and perfect truth has been lost, and so someone has committed a crime or a sin here, and must be found and punished. This is the position of the ennea-type Eight, which has been called Ego Venge. Ultimately, you blame yourself for no longer being divine, and later this blame is projected onto others in order to protect yourself from the self-hatred that would otherwise result.
Facets of Unity, pg. 91
Point 9 – Holy Love
If we don’t perceive this nonconceptual positivity, or if we do, but don’t believe it or take it seriously—which is to say that when Holy Love is lost to our perception or not understood—the result is the specific delusion of Point Nine. This delusion is not the belief that there is no such lovingness in existence—human beings can’t survive without some sense of love—but rather, that this lovingness is a local phenomenon, occurring at particular points of time and space. This delusion results in the belief that love is conditional, which explains to us why we perceive it at one place and time and not at another. On the surface, we sense these wonderful, beautiful feelings sometimes and not others; some people have it, others don’t; it is present in some parts of the universe and not others. But the actual core of the delusion is that love is conditional.......... See also p223. At advanced stages of the Work, after you have extensive understanding of Being, this reaction of being asleep manifests in not acknowledging oneself as Being itself. You continue to think and believe that you are not realized; you already know who you really are, yet you continue behaving as if you don’t know. It is as if you are not the one who is having all these experiences of realization and understanding. Identifying with the delusion of Point Nine manifests in not seeing, realizing, or believing that you are really who you are; that you are not really Essence and Being, or even a soul. You continue to believe that reality is what the social consensus says it is: the life, world, and personality of ego.......... See also p229. Many of us have feelings of inferiority about one thing or another. “My parents were poor and I didn’t get as many toys as the other kids, so I always feel inferior. I didn’t go to the right schools, so there is something inferior about me. I was never popular, so there must be something wrong with me.” There are so many causes that people pin their sense of inferiority on, causes which, from the outside, don’t make much sense. This indicates that there is a predisposition toward feeling inferior. To really see the delusion of ennea-type Nine, we have to see through all of these causes that our minds have locked onto, and see the naked sense of inferiority itself—the sense that we lack intrinsic goodness.